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Latest on plans for Lidl store in Whitstable

By Marijke Hall

Bosses at German food chain Lidl insist they will listen to the concerns of the community as official plans to open a new supermarket off the Old Thanet Way are submitted.

Last month the budget retailer unveiled its bold proposal to build a 23,000 sq ft store on land between Chestfield and Greenhill.

If approved, it will become the sixth major supermarket in Herne Bay and Whitstable.

A computer image of what the new Lidl could look like
A computer image of what the new Lidl could look like

Following a public consultation in which residents were able to look at the scheme in detail and voice any concerns, plans have now been officially submitted to Canterbury City Council.

A spokesman for the food giant says there has been “overwhelming support” for the proposal but admits some concerns have been raised, including the impact of additional traffic in the area.

“The consultation was a great success and we’d like to thank all the residents who came along to give us their input,” he said.

“People were able to voice their concerns, but there is also overwhelming support for the plans.”

He says the proposal was not altered after the public meeting and it has been submitted in its original format, but insists people’s views will be taken into account.

"People were able to voice their concerns, but there is also overwhelming support for the plans" - Lidl spokesman

“Community involvement is important and the benefit of the planning process is people can have a say and we can see what comes out of it,” he said.

If approved, the new glass-fronted store would employ 40 staff.

Bosses also point out it would not impact other traders in the area and sells 95% own-brand products.

It does not stock tobacco, hot food, clothes or greeting cards and does not have a deli, fishmonger or butcher.

Herne Bay already has a Morrisons store and Aldi in the town centre, while Whitstable has an Aldi, Sainsbury’s and a Tesco.

A question mark continues to hang over the empty Sainsbury’s site in Broomfield.

Last week, the company told the Kentish Gazette it was still looking at options for the empty site, including using it as a smaller store, sub-letting some of it or opening as originally planned, as a large Sainsbury’s with a 16-pump petrol station, but at a later date.

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